How To Plan a Company Picnic

Guests enjoy a company picnic at High Point Farm

Guests enjoy a company picnic at High Point Farm

Planning the company picnic usually falls somewhere between dream job and nightmare. Because High Point Events has more than 40 years of experience with planning outdoor events, and because we’ve catered picnics at more than 234 different outdoor locations, we feel uniquely qualified to nudge your company’s planning experience in the direction of the dream.

Getting Started

The most important aspect of any party, or in this case, picnic, is the guests. Who are they? How old are they? What will they enjoy? What will make them feel comfortable? What special needs do your guests have? Keep your guests in mind throughout the planning process to maximize your picnic’s success.

Decisions To Be Made

  1. How many guests do you anticipate?
  2. What day of the week and what time of day will work best for your picnic? When setting the hours for your picnic, remember that lots of folks have obligations on Sundays and generally move a little more slowly on that day. During July and August, considering moving your picnic start time later to avoid the mid-day heat.
  3. What date works best for the most people? Is this before or after school lets out (if it’s a family picnic)? What is a back-up date in case your first choice of venue or caterer is unavailable?
  4. Where will you have the picnic? Will you need any rental equipment at the venue you select? This can affect your budget. Is there adequate parking for your guests? Where are the restrooms in relation to the picnic area? Does the venue have adequate shelter from sun and/or rain? Does the venue have electrical hook-ups available? Does the venue require you to remove all your trash or does it provide trash receptacles?
  5. What activities do you have planned for guests? Will you have special activities for children? Will there be activities for people to watch as well as to participate in? Who will organize the activities and bring the appropriate equipment? Does the venue allow the activities you have planned? (For instance, some parks will allow inflatables while others will not.) Does the venue allow amplified sound and/or music?
  6. What food and beverages will be served? Do any of your guests have special dietary needs? Will the food be cooked on site or cooked elsewhere and brought in? Is the food you’ve planned appropriate for the weather? Is it easy for guests to eat while standing? Will the food hold up in the heat? Food safety is an important consideration for all events! Have you arranged for enough water and non-alcoholic beverages, especially if the day will be hot? Does the venue allow alcoholic beverages? Does the venue have any special restrictions on alcohol sales and/or consumption?
  7. What budget do you have allotted? What is included in that budget?

Selecting a Caterer

  1. Select a catering company – like High Point – which specializes in outdoor catering. That specialization means that your company will benefit from years of experience in every aspect of outdoor event planning.
  2. Select a catering company – like High Point – which offers you proof of current and adequate licensing and insurance. This is for your guests’ sake as well as for the company’s!
  3. Select a catering company – like High Point – which will make you, as picnic planner, look good.

(This blog is available as a Resource Sheet to download and print. Go to our Resources page to see other titles available.) 

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